Mutharika’s widow, children agree out-of-court settlement on K61bn deceased estate

Former Malawi first lady Callista Mutharika has withdrawn her application in court to remove her stepchildren, Duwa and Tapiwa, as administrators of the controversial K61 billion (about $152m) deceased estate left by the late Bingu wa Mutharika, opting for an out-of-court settlement.

Callista lodged an application at High Court in Zomba to revoke letters of administration by the children of late Mutharika as she does not appear as a beneficiary in Bingu’s will.

But as the hearing of the matter was scheduled to start on Tuesday lawyers representing both sides told Judge Godfrey Mwase in his chamber to allow them to settle their matter out of court.

Justice Mwase allowed the request but adjourned the matter to this Friday to allow the lawyers to report back to court on progress made in resolving the matter out of court.

Callista Mutharika: Out-of-court
Callista Mutharika: Out-of-court

Callista, according to the application she filed, also wanted the court to give a consequential order that Duwa and Tapiwa fully account to the deceased’s estates for whatever they have done with or under the power of the said order.

She wanted the letters of the administration surrendered to the court forthwith.

Mutharika’s “last will and testament” was written after the death of Mutharika’s first wife Ethel in 2007.

A legal expert on wills, Seodi White, said Mutharika’s widow can ask a court of law to nullify his will because it was drawn before he married her.

This has been backed by dean of law at Chancellor College, Dr Mwiza Nkhata, who said the will in question became invalid the moment Callista married former president.

The former president’s estate is also engulfed by another legal battle as government is seeking K5 billion in unpaid estate duty.

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